As far as most of us are concerned, the Casey Anthony trial, which started today in Florida, has already happened and Anthony has been found guilty. Certainly in the "court of public opinion," the single mom should have been executed long ago. She stands accused of murdering her 3-year-old daughter Caylee and could face the death penalty if convicted.
The fact is, her trial just started on May 9. She has not been found guilty of anything as yet even though everyone in the country is pretty sure the trial has already ended.
There were traces of chloroform found in the Casey's car and Casey's mother's 911 call reporting on her daughters car, saying "it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car." Caylee's skeletal remains were found very close to her grandparents' home where Casey lived and Casey was seen in photos out partying and living it up while her daughter was missing.
Pretty damning evidence, to be sure.
But the media attention this case has garnered since it started in 2008 has been almost unprecedented. The media scrutiny has been so intense that the Orlando judge moved jury selection Monday morning in the murder trial to Pinellas County.
But will they be able to find a fair, unbiased jury even there? It seems unlikely. As far as most of us are concerned (myself included) Casey Anthony is guilty. She killed her little girl because she wanted to party and have fun and being alone with her toddler child was weighing her down.
In our minds, Casey Anthony has been tried, so first they have to find jurors who have not heard of the case and then they need to make sure they fit the right demographics of the population. Potential jurors will undergo two rounds of questioning and be asked their stance on the death penalty. Jury selection is supposed to end by the end of this week (good luck with that!) so that the second part of the trial can begin May 17.
The selected jurors will be transported to Orlando where they will be sequestered in a hotel for the length of the trial. The trial is expected to last two months.
Certainly these jurors will have to hear horrendous testimony and they will not be allowed to watch TV or read newspapers or have any exposure to the media, which could easily give them a bias and create a mistrial. This is not going to an easy task and I am not sure that Casey Anthony will ever get as "fair" a trial as someone whose name is less known.
But if we want justice for Caylee, then she needs one.
Do you think Casey Anthony can get a fair trial?
Image via dbking/Flickr